Insomnia at work can cause accidents, study says

Insomnia at work can cause accidents, study says

Employees in Maryland and across the U.S. who suffer from insomnia make nearly 275,000 mistakes each year that can cause them or their co-workers to get hurt on the job. Additionally, the lack of sleep can lead to more than $30 billion in lost productivity because of workplace mistakes and accidents.

This figure is according to a new study that looked at data from the America Insomnia Survey. The survey polled more than 10,000 people and asked them if they had been a part of an accident on the job that either resulted in damage or disruption at work that cost the company at least $500, as well as if they had made a mistake in the past year that cost the company that same amount.

Twenty percent of the respondents said they believed they suffered from insomnia at some point, and 4.3 percent said they had had an accident or made a significant mistake in the prior 12 months.

According to the researchers, between 10 percent and 15 percent of mistakes and accidents at work are caused by insomnia. In all, it is estimated that errors and accidents cost more than $20,000 per incident.

To stop insomnia from altering the workplace, the study’s authors suggested that employers screen employees for the condition and then treat it. By being proactive in those areas, employers can see a result of fewer sick days and employee accidents, as well, the authors said.

Employers should raise awareness of the condition among employees and offer treatment and guidance to decrease a worker’s insomnia. For their part, employees should step forward and take advantage of any such offerings. Employers legally cannot hold it against their staff for admitting to suffering from insomnia.

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